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Discussion Starter #1
For several days when I feed the pigeons in the morning, the male of my best producing pair follows and pecks at his mate, not allowing her to eat. The first few days I held him to allow her to eat, but now I have put him in a separate cage - all the rest roam in a 20 x 25 flight pen. Why is he acting this way? The female stays fairly close to his cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Likely he is trying to drive her to the nest. Could she be too old? Didn't know her age when I got her. Last three times she had laid eggs, something has gotten them. Two times a snake, third time don't know. Cannot figure out how snakes are getting in, maybe like rats. Now it appears problem is rats - have seen them squeeze through chicken wire. Eggs of another female found chewed. Putting extra rat poison outside pen. Anyway the female needs to eat, no? Or should I let him out?
 

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You need to fix your enclosure so nothing can get in. If rats can get the eggs, they will also kill your birds. When you lock living animals into a space, then it is your responsibility to make sure that space is safe. Chicken wire was made to keep chickens in. It keeps nothing out. You need to replace the chicken wire with heavy gauge 1/2 inch hardware cloth. If things have gotten the eggs a couple of times, then she has laid right away again to replace the lost eggs. That much laying is going to deplete her of her calcium stores, and you are going to have big problems with her health. She can even get egg bound and die. You need to give them a calcium and D3 supplement, like CalciBoost or similar to replace her calcium that she is losing. I don't understand why, when snakes have gotten in and taken eggs, why that has not prompted you too fix the enclose and make it safe for your birds. She probably just doesn't want to lay in a box where they aren't safe. They need to feel safe to raise babies. I don't imagine she feels very safe to raise a family in a box where she has watched snakes and rats come in and take her eggs. What if they were babies sitting there in the nest? She won't lay under those conditions, and the male is probably getting frustrated.

Make them an enclosure that you can lock them in at night, with nest boxes to nest in and raise babies. Attach it to the flight pen, or put it inside the pen at one end. They should only be out in the flight pen during the day, not at night. At night they should be tucked safely inside the closed loft. Put in windows covered with hardware cloth for light and ventilation.


The fact that he is pushing her to keep laying eggs is on you, because you have not given them a loft where the eggs are safe. Of course she needs to eat, but I think that is the least of your problems at the moment. Put a small dish of feed in their box for her. That way the rats will also have a snack when they come back tonight. Putting poison isn't the way to do it. Shoring up the loft is. Nothing should be able to get in. Wait till you see what raccoons will do to chicken wire, and then they will finish off all the birds in one night. You can't kill everything that wants to get at them. You CAN make it so that nothing can get to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow thank you very much. I don't know why I didn't think to make their night time area safe. Feeling quite sick but will take care of it right away. Will get the Caliciboost. I was at a loss to enclose the whole flight pen better, not thinking to make a night place. That will not be too difficult and should be done within a day or two. Cannot thank you enough. And that you for your patience for my stupidity.
 

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How many birds do you have? You can put a shed in at one end of the aviary. There has to be enough nest boxes for every male to have one, and more than a perch for each bird. This would be their home, and they will go into it themselves at the end of the day, as instinct tells them that being outside isn't safe. The enclosure should be 2 sq. ft of floor space for each bird. They need room to move around and feel comfortable. It also needs windows and vents for air circulation. You would cover them with heavy hardware cloth.
I would make it as large as possible as we always wish we had done it larger. If you need help with it, please ask.
We have had members come on here who walked into their lofts in the morning and found all their birds dead. Rats will kill them, and raccoons, and many other things that come out mostly at night. But until she feels safe, she isn't going to want to lay and raise babies that might be chewed up by rats.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Almost ten at night but a makeshift protection is up using 1/2 welded wire around the wooden nest box area that is 8' x 15' by 4 feet high. Will have to create a couple of doors tomorrow, good thing I am flexible enough at 70 to crawl inside. The flight pen is 20' x 25' x 15', concrete footing, tin up three feet, then coated chicken wire and a netting on the top. There are 20 birds in there right now with with 14 nest boxes and room to double that. Sorry I didn't use my gray matter, kinda surprised at myself.
 

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Well you are a pretty fast worker then. Can you share pictures with us? We love pictures. Gives us ideas. Fun to steal other peoples ideas and incorporate them into our own lofts.
 
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